Scientist's Book Celebrates 'Strategies of Sex'

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...And other verses to diversity, adversity, and perversity.

let me count the ways...

The diverse and often bizarre mating habits of hairy-legged fruit flies, doubly endowed four-eyed fish, and pudgy moorhens—to name just a few—are immortalized in Strategies of Sex, a new book of verse by physician-scientist Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne.

The author approaches his unusual subject matter in a style reminiscent of Cole Porter ("bees do it") and Elizabeth Barrett Browning ("let me count the ways...") with just a touch of Ogden Nash.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Kilbourne created the first-ever genetically engineered vaccine (against influenza) more than 30 years ago. He began writing his whimsical verse even earlier than that.

The first of the book’s four sections focuses on the title subject, Strategies of Sex, with poems that include an ode to a four-eyed fish blessed (?) with two sex organs, and to the fruit fly, Melanogaster ("acts of millisecond brevity interfere with his longevity").

The second section, Annotated Animals, defines the "zoo out there" in which the implicit verbal defamation of the Slow Loris is decried and doubts are expressed on the arrival of a "Tiny Pale Whale" at Coney Island.

The third section covers—in verse and in prose—a sample of Humanity's Inanities. The author has taken license to indulge in a mixed bag of philosophical musings, an obsession with proper English, ("More Importantly," "The Bikini Area or Bust"), reaction to new technology, and politically incorrect observations.

The book concludes with several serious poems in which the author puts aside his defiance of gravity to embrace moments of beauty in "Bluefishing" and "The Ice Dancers," and of tragedy, in "Susan Dying" and "Insight".

About the Author: Edwin Dennis Kilbourne, M.D., is an internationally recognized research scientist who has made significant contributions to the study and prevention of influenza and other human virus diseases. A member of The American Philosophical Society, Dr. Kilbourne has also published humorous verses and essays, most of them dealing with the often bizarre mating habits of sub-human species.

More Information (including samples and purchasing information):


By Edwin Dennis Kilbourne

ISBN: 1-4134-8424-7 (Trade Paperback -- $17.84)

ISBN: 1-4134-8425-5 (Hardback -- $27.89)

Pages: 132

Subjects: HUMOR / Limericks & Verse; SCIENCE / Biology

Contact:    Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne


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